Who is behind the “Barefoot Running is Bad” site?

I suppose I should just ignore and not contribute to the traffic, but runningbarefoootisbad.com really bugs me. The smug, arrogant attitude seems somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Fine. Clearly he’s (or she’s, though I think there’s a lower incidence of jerkism amongst women) trying to be provocative with statements like, “Members of the barefoot running community are not particularly bright people.” Fine. But I’ve got a real pet peeve with blogs, particularly provocative ones, that don’t accept comments or provide any mechanism for feedback of any sort.

There is an email address provided with a cute, “Hate mail can be sent here:” So, I sent this:

Not hate mail

From: Philip Odence <phil.odence@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG>

Date: February 21, 2010 6:24:40 PM EST

To: info@runningbarefootisbad.com

Dear…who are you, anyway?

I am a barefoot runner, though I don’t think fanatical (and definitely not vegetarian). I am curious.

So many of your posts are titled with questions (e.g. Why does the barefoot running community continually fall for this nonsense?), my question for you is why don’t you allow comments? I understand that the questions are rhetorical, but if, as you purport you want to deconstruct claims and you seem to advocate “reasoned discussions,” why don’t you allow those claims and discussions to be aired on your blog?

I am also curious about your note that says you receive no funding the shoe industry above the Google ads for running shoes. Do you not receive any money for those ads?


That, as my father would say, and 25 cents will get me a copy of the Boston Globe (back when the Globe cost 25 cents), i.e. the response was nada, bupkis,…zilch. So, my only recourse is to fight blog with blog. Anyone have any idea who’s behind this thing and who peed on his (or her) cornflakes?

Explore posts in the same categories: Barefoot Running, Research


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

3 Comments on “Who is behind the “Barefoot Running is Bad” site?”

  1. Brandon Says:

    Barefoot Jason brought this up a long time ago and no one to my knowledge has gotten any response from the coward.


    The best thing to do is just ignore the blog and hope it goes away I guess, unless he takes ownership!

  2. Tuck Says:

    The folks on Barefoot Ted’s Google group think it’s this fellow:


    Barefootrunningisbad.com was erected shortly after Payne posted this:


    Our discussion about it was here. We left a bunch of comments that demonstrated how dishonest the fellow is. Most were never approved, but are posted in this thread:


    The font and graphics are the same on the two sites, as is the language and the (in my opinion) dishonest “debate”.

  3. skinshoes Says:

    There is a certain podiatrist who frequents the podiatry-arena.com forum whose writing style and opinions are very reminiscent of whoever runs that site, although heavily moderated as he writes under his real name there. I suppose he’s more careful with what he says when he actually has to stand by it. I wont post his name, in case I am wrong, but I can say that I am not the only one to have suspected him to be the culprit.

    As for hoping the site goes away, I don’t really care. Even the most zealous barefoot hater will see how contradictory his arguments are. I’ve never seen such display of ‘Master suppression techniques’ and ‘Ad Hominem’ argumentation, which he solely employ to criticize the use of such arguments by (apparently, every single ‘member of’) the barefoot community…

    If anything, this guy is hurting the cause of those who should happen to have sound, actual arguments against barefoot running. This, of course, is bad for science and the accumulation of human knowledge as a whole, but not barefoot running as an activity specifically.

    Should someone listen to his arguments and try to forward them in an “attack” on you as a barefoot runner, it is tempting to say that you have probably found yourself in an argument with a child, but that would be unreasonable. Instead, politely demolish the arguments. It is very easy, which is why BFRIB.com have no comment field, but in a tête-à-tête there is no turning of comments…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: